PALM SPRINGS — If you plan to have a few cheers for St. Patrick’s Day, remember to plan ahead and have a designated sober driver take you home.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, which makes it all the more important to let someone who has not been drinking take you home.
To help keep the public safe, the Palm Springs Police Department will have extra officers on patrol this weekend through St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
In 2018 alone, 73 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18).
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 50 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year.
“If you need to ask yourself whether you are okay to drive, the answer is probably no,” Palm Springs Police Sgt. Arnold Galvan said. “We want people to have fun, but also be responsible. Part of that responsibility is arranging a safe way to get home.”
If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver, take a ride-share or use public transportation to get around.
If you ever see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
Funding for St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Sober driver: Shutterstock